I remember vividly the ?rst time that I heard about the ?ber ampli?er. At that time, of course, it was the erbium-doped ?ber ampli?er, the predecessor of the Raman ampli?er that is the subject of this book. It was an early morning in a forgotten year in Murray Hill, New Jersey at one of our Bell Labs monthly research staff meetings. About twenty directors and executive directors of research organizations clustered around a long table in the imposing executive conference room. Arno Penzias, the vice president of research, presided at the foot of the table. Everyone who participated in those research staff meetings will long remember their culture and atmosphere. Arno would pick an arbitrary starting point somewhere around the table, and the designated person would head to the front of the table to give a short talk on “something new” in his or her research area. This ?rst speaker would invariably ?ddle helplessly with the controls embedded in the podium that controlled the viewgraph projector, but eventually we would hear machinery grinding in the back room as a large hidden mirror moved into place. We would all wait quietly, arranging and choosing our own viewgraphs from the piles that lay on the table in front of every participant.